When you apply for a position, your cover letter is like a handshake—how it’s you introduce yourself to employers. It should be solid, concise, and make a great first impression, just like a good handshake.
This isn’t an area of the job application process where you want to cut corners. A cover letter encourages you to go into greater depth than your resume allows, clarify holes in your work experience or your need for a career change, and make a compelling argument for why you will be a good candidate for the job. In addition, a strong cover letter will help you secure an interview and, eventually, a career.
When writing your cover letter, avoid the common mistakes mentioned below to ensure a positive and lasting first impression.
Making use of a weak opening
Job seekers sometimes struggle with the opening while writing one. This challenge sometimes results in a weak introduction that fails to pique the reader’s interest. Consider the following scenario:
- Better: Your requirement for a top-performing sales representative aligns well with my three-year track record as a multimillion-dollar manufacturer.
- Weak: Please consider me for the role of sales representative.
Leaving out the best selling points
A cover letter serves as a sales pitch for you as a candidate. It should be convincing, much like your resume, and state the key reasons why you should be called for an interview. Emphasize your top achievements or create subheadings based on the job description in a winning cover letter. Consider the following scenario:
Your advertisement specifies: The importance of having a solid machine history
- Experience in all Microsoft Office applications, as well as website creation and design.
Your advertisement specifies: Ability to communicate
- I have five years of public speaking experience and a strong executive-level report writing history.
Excessive use of the word “I”
It’s not your autobiography. The focus should be on how you can satisfy an employer’s expectations rather than your personal history. Reduce your use of the word “I,” particularly at the beginning of your sentences, to avoid becoming self-centered.
You could be putting readers to sleep if it is longer than one sentence. A great cover letter is succinct but persuasive, and it shows that you care for the reader’s time.
Thank the reader for their time and consideration in your cover letter.
Failure to sign the letter
Signing the letter is good business etiquette and demonstrates attention to detail. Consider these potential sign-offs if you need help finding out how to close your cover letter. A signature isn’t needed if you’re sending an email cover letter and resume.
Word-for-word repetition of your resume
The information on your resume should not be repeated in your cover letter. To prevent dulling the effect of your resume, reword your cover letter claims. Use the letter to say a short story, such as “my most difficult sale” or “my most difficult technical challenge.”
. Also Read: Tips on How to Write an Internship Resume
Refer to the relevant job title in your cover letter if you’re responding to an advertised vacancy rather than writing a cold cover letter. Your letter could be one of hundreds being read for thousands of different jobs by the person reading it. Be sure that your whole letter demonstrates how you can satisfy the employer’s unique requirements.
Ignoring to personalize
If you’re applying for a variety of similar jobs, you’re probably tweaking one cover letter and using it for several different openings. That’s great as long as each letter is unique. Don’t forget to update the business, work, and contact information.
Also Read: Resume Tips That Will Help You Get Hired
Concluding with a passive note
Put your future in your own hands as much as possible, with a commitment to follow through. Instead of requesting that readers call you, say something like this: I will contact you in a few days to answer any preliminary questions you might have. You can call me at (000) 123-456 in the meantime.
Now let’s talk about your resume
It’s time to double-check that your resume is free of humiliating and damaging errors and shortcomings now that you know how to duck and dodge mistakes.